Well, President Joe Biden participated in his first tree lighting ceremony as POTUS this week and, unsurprisingly, there were gaffes.
This is what we’ve come to expect from the Biden White House. In fact, it would have been more remarkable if it had gone off without a hitch.
The ceremony appears to have run smoothly for the most part, to be fair. It featured all the necessary trees, lights and Marine musicians, as well as a performance from the wildly flamboyant Billy Porter (Biden is the most progressive president in history and it’s 2021; the White House was basically required to include some sort of culturally divisive element or it wouldn’t have been proper for today’s Democratic establishment).
However, when it came time for the First Couple to make their entrance onto the stage to do the whole tree-lighting thing, things got positively well, Bidenian.
As Fox News reports, President and Mrs. Biden couldn’t make it to the stage for a full two minutes after rapper LL Cool J announced them.
This ultimately necessitated the audience of service members and their families to be told to sit down, then stand up and applaud for a second time once the 78-year-old Biden and wife managed to find their way to the stage.
The result was equal parts awkward and painful as the crowd stood to hail the chief and was forced to simply remain standing, wondering what they were supposed to do next.
Mr. Cool J jumped in to try to smooth things over, telling the crowd, “All right, good vibes, good vibes,” before pausing awkwardly again.
I’m not sure if this is simply ’90s-era rapper slang for “stay cool, everyone” or if he was doing a sort of hip-hop incantation to dispel the awkwardness, but bless him, the poor man was trying, and he continued to do so, although the scramble to make light of the situation got more painful as he went on to issue the crowd their stage directions for take two.
WATCH: Joe Biden comes on stage TWO MINUTES after being introduced. Someone had to wake him up! pic.twitter.com/XyCvGkDyl8
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 3, 2021
“All right, so…we’re gonna do it again. Not the whole thing! You know, you good, you all stood up, very patriotic, that’s wonderful. Yes, you’re respecting the office — you’re supposed to!” he said (respecting the office of the presidency has gone back into fashion this year, having briefly gone out of style between 2017 and January 19, 2021).
“Sit down again, one more time,” LL continued, to laughter from the crowd.
“It’ll be fine,” he added, chuckling slightly himself, although with the air of one who is reconsidering his more recent life choices.
“It’s gonna go well,” he said, as though to himself. “OK.”
Then, as he appeared to be made aware that the Bidens had finally managed to get ready to walk out, it was go time … again.
“Lot of applause!” LL shouted out, with all the conviction of a daytime talk show producer.
The crowd obediently complied, even managing to eke out a few cheers.
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“And now!” a clearly very relieved rapper announced, “It’s my tremendous honor to welcome our real host, our literal host for this very American celebration (apparently LL had just been the figurative host up until this point), President Biden, and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.”
Cue the band, cue the lights, camera pan right, zoom in … there’s the First Couple, at long last, making their way without a trace of urgency up the steps onto the stage, with a dimly delighted and slightly dazed President Biden gazing happily into the dutifully cheering crowd, pulling off a jocular, casual salute.
Aaaaand scene. Phew.
Presidential entrance accomplished.
I am sure the frazzled Biden staffers who had to scramble to smooth over this mess needed a drink at this point.
It is, of course, unclear why this went so poorly. The whole scene was treated like a forced and staged event rather than a fun, lighthearted presidential holiday ceremony.
You’d think that the Biden White House would have the stage directions down at this point — after all, they are not above using actual White House television sets for filming things like Biden getting his COVID-19 booster shot.
But no, the general incompetency of the administration seems to outweigh any skill they may be acquiring at giving off the impression that the White House has it together.
After all, this came the same week that Jill Biden totally forgot about First Son Hunter Biden’s illegitimate child when hanging stockings for each of the Biden grandchildren as part of the White House Christmas display — a glaring error that was covered up by simply removing the stockings — and then, for some inexplicable reason, setting up President Biden to give a speech in front of the fireplace from which the stockings were now conspicuously missing.
The Biden White House clearly tries to arrange things just so for the cameras — and fails miserably.
This is exactly the kind of thing that gives credence to the conspiracy theories that Biden isn’t the “real” president — because, whether he is duly elected or not, nothing about his administration seems real, let alone competent.
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